35 militants arrested in northern Swat valley

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Islamabad, Jan 22: Pakistani security forces claimed to have arrested 35 militants from various areas in the restive northern Swat valley, along with a would-be suicide bomber and cleric.

This cleric had authored a controversial Fatwa (decree), sanctioning beheadings of government officials and allowing suicide attacks. Chuprial and Loe Namal areas in Matta tehsil were cordoned off as security forces continued to search for militants. The would-be suicide bomber was identified as Farman. He was arrested along with his father Maulvi Habibullah, an associate of Maulana Fazlullah, from Chuprial on Monday.

The security forces also recovered three government vehicles which had been taken away by militants along with a large quantity of arms and ammunition, Dawn reported.

Local people helped the troops torch and demolish houses of three militants, Saedur Rehman, Sultan Mehmood alias Pattan and Saifullah, believed to be close aides of pro-Taliban cleric Maulana Fazlullah, also known as Mulla Radio for running his own FM channel.

The government claimed that 90 per cent of roads in Swat had been cleared of militants and the remaining 10 per cent would be cleared soon.


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